Research Data Repository Update – November 2012

By Toby O’Hara.The Research Data Repository project has been going for a few months, and it would seem we’re overdue for another update on progress.


The new dedicated researcher storage alluded to in our last update has been ordered, delivered, and installation and support plans finalised. The install is happening as I write this, and so should be finalised by the time the post is up. We also worked closely with the Service Desk to clearly define the first and most basic new service to hang off of this storage, a shared drive which we’ve colloquially dubbed the “R drive”.


Two key features we hope to be able to bundle with the service are 1) Data management planning, in which we explain good data management and offer to assist with crafting a basic data management plan for the research project; and 2) data packaging. The first one we can do now, we have a template and some instructions added to the UWS web, here. The second, we are working right now to more fully flesh out the requirements and then engage a programmer to help us make the watcher, labeller, packager tool, colloquially dubbed the “Claw”. Stay tuned for a separate post about this one coming soon.


The metadata stores project, which is the Catalogue component of the RDR, is also progressing, however slowly. We’ve finalised the project plan with ANDS, and we have made the necessary overtures to the National Library of Australia for the passing of party (ie people and group) records. We have sent some records for examination but haven’t yet set up an automated feed. We’re hiring a developer to forge the links that are needed, and make tweaks and adjustments to accommodate the university workflows and processes. We are also excited to be participating in a collaborative approach to development and support for the ReDBox software. There are a number of universities which are working together to divvy up the next round of improvements. You know what they say, if you can get more people to eat your elephant you don’t have to eat it all yourself.


On the project side of things, the RDR has been broken into 4 interdependent components.
Information and Tools
  • Data Management Checklist and Template
  • Website information
  • Needs analysis tool
  • Joint Statement
  • Data Management workshops
  • Data Management Plans for Schools and Institutes
  • Publicity and announcements of services available
  • Policy planning
Technology Services
  • Shared drive support plan
  • Researcher ticket tracking
  • Online request forms
  • Services planning
  • Service catalogue update
Research Data Catalogue
  • Contracts with ANDS
  • SC20 commences
  • DC21 commences
  • ReDBox installation
  • Import existing metadata
  • DC21 data links
  • SC20 data collections
  • MS23 connections
  • Procedures &workflow
  • Test Planning
  • User Acceptance Test
  • File watching
  • Automated feeds to RDA
  • Automated ingest of institutional records
  • Researcher self submit
Research Data Store
  • Strategy
  • Project initiation
  • Procurement planning
  • Procurement
  • Set up
  • Migration of existing data
  • Shared drive services
  • Provision for RDC
  • Connections to cloud storage
  • Application layer
Key: Stuck-out itemsare completed.


This simple table was presented to the Data Related Projects Steering Committee at the last SC meeting. It shows the 4 components: the storage, the catalogue, technology services, and information and tools. It also shows a high level roadmap of tasks that are required as part of stage 1.0. From these 4 components a full work breakdown structure has been devised. After being a work in progress for a while, it was great to finally have the scope of stage 1 finalised, and some of the scope of stage 2 worked out as well.


[Update 2012-11-14: Fixed minor typos and added link to DMP material]

This work by Toby O’Hara is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.